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Donovan Dowling, 11, right, races Hunter Berkau, 8, on a scooter during P.E. Night at Charles Carroll Elementary School in Silver Run Friday.
Donovan Dowling, 11, right, races Hunter Berkau, 8, on a scooter during P.E. Night at Charles Carroll Elementary School in Silver Run Friday. (DAVE MUNCH/STAFF PHOTO, Carroll County Times)

SILVER RUN -- About 40 students pointed out their abdominal, deltoid, trapezius and lateral muscles at Charles Carroll Elementary P.E. Night Friday before being set loose to demonstrate exercise stations and equipment for their parents. The room swarmed with children climbing, stretching and swinging across Whittle equipment, while all around the perimeter of the room, others did push ups, curl ups and several types of cardiovascular exercises.

The students have been studying their movement education unit, said physical education teacher Brett Ecker. They have been focused on identifying their muscles and what movements utilize those muscles.

The Whittle equipment, to which the kids refer as the indoor playground, is primarily for non-locomotive movement, said Ecker. That means they are twisting, stretching, zig-zagging and performing other movements as they explore the equipment.

"They seem to be very inspired," said Ecker. "It's a great way to get students excited about physical education."

Ecker also pointed out the integrated technology stations. Exergaming stations allowed students to play Xbox Kinect and Wii games that require physical movement. The gym also contained heart-rate monitoring stations.

"I think this is great for developing their body strength," said Catarina Forte as she watched her two children, fourth-grader Brady and second-grader Peyton, go through the Whittle structures.

Josh Wagner watched his daughter, Alexis, a kindergarten student, as she prepared to try out the roller racer course. Students were able to weave in and out between rows of traffic cones by twisting in the seats of the two little scooters.

"We definitely didn't have anything like this when I was a kid," said Wagner.

He said that although his daughter was only in kindergarten, he felt she understood how she was working her muscles.

"She's always trying to work out at home. She loves it," he said. "This is a really good way to get them started."

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